General and Plenary Sessions

Opening Keynote: GIS to the Rescue: The Critical Role of Geospatial Technology in Disaster Response

September 13th, 2011

8:00 am - 9:00 am

Michael Byrne

Michael Byrne

Leader - National Incident Management Assistance Team – Blue (N-IMAT Blue)

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

RussJohnson

Russ Johnson

Director - Public Safety and Homeland Security

Esri

GIS to the Rescue: The Critical Role of Geospatial Technology in Disaster Response

Horrifying, headline-making, disaster-movie-of-the-week-type incidents, from Hurricane Katrina to the Haitian earthquake to the spate of devastating Southern tornados, are human tragedies and financial disasters of the first order. Massive natural disasters call for speedy, seamless responses to help rebuild lives. Efficient and effective response requires current and accurate information, and that’s where GIS technologies really shine. FEMA’s Mike Byrne knows firsthand the role that GIS plays in disaster response, having been on the ground personally in many such situations. In this keynote, Byrne combines his accounts of real-world emergency response with the technical expertise of Esri's Russ Johnson, who leads the organization's Public Safety and Homeland Security practice.